Kristy and Dawn, strong women with big personalities and a whole lot of heart. Netflix’s The Baby-Sitters Club is one of the best things on TV right now and something I’m so glad younger girls have as an example to look towards. I loved the original series growing up, and this reboot is just as lovely, if not better because of its inclusivity and careful attention to the world around us. And since season two is right around the corner (October 11), I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about an exemplary scene between Dawn (Xochitl Gomez) and Kristy (Sophie Grace).
All that to say—this scene is special for a myriad of reasons. Strong women with big personalities aren’t always revered in media. Heck, they are seldom even presented in a positive light. They’re more often than not the “bad girls,” so to speak, and especially in young adult media, in the past, they’ve been presented as the bullies or the ones who are outcasts. The Baby-Sitters Club taking this stereotype and subverting media’s previous angles to showcase that strong women with big personalities are actually empaths in need of others is just brilliant.
It’s downright beautiful. Kristy isn’t always nice, she’s territorial at times, and bossy. While none of her behavior is excusable, at the end of the day she’s just a kid. She’s a kid whose father abandoned her and because of the fears she harbors that this will be a constant in her life, she attempts to control whatever situation she is in to land on her feet if anything changes.
We could go into great detail about the idea of what a leader should be like, and Kristy Thomas is learning how to be just that.
And Dawn sees Kristy. She sees her as she is because though she reacts differently to situations because of her parents’ divorce, she harbors the same type of fears that she could be left out—abandoned and alone. The two of them might operate in completely different ways, but their big personalities are a sign of the fact that both Kristy and Dawn are just the right fit to be friends. Dawn’s choice to not only forgive Kristy, but to openly tell her that she’s a friend she’ll have by her side is a beautiful detail to inspire young women.
Girls don’t need to be in competition. Girls don’t need to be pitted against each other. And girls don’t need to be each other’s enemy when they’re so much alike. Girls need to be heard—they need to be understood, and strong women with big personalities especially need to watch out for each other because the impact can be extraordinary when they’re watching each other’s backs.
Strong women with big personalities are being shown through a close, empathetic lens through Kristy and Dawn, making The Baby-Sitters Club that much more beautiful in the heart it lays bare through every episode.
Strong women with big personalities are being showcased in the rightful light of empathy because through Kristy and Dawn, we’re seeing what happens when girls choose to love each other. Because really, even clashing is a choice in this situation. You don’t have to compete with women for anything, and the series showing this through young girls is everything to me.
If strong women with big personalities were welcomed with open arms through an embrace like this back in 2002 when I was in middle school, I’d be a lot less screwed up growing up. So many of us would. We’d embrace ourselves, and just like Kristy and Dawn, we’d embrace each other even more.
Kristy and Dawn are learning from each other, and they’re learning from the rest of the girls. They’re embracing their big personalities, and they’re embracing each other, setting an example for all the kids watching as a reminder of what it truly means to be strong women.
For those who don’t know, Xochitl Gomez will no longer reprise her role as Dawn due to scheduling conflicts with Marvel’s Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness. She’s landed the incredible role of America Chavez, and while I’m so sad about her leaving this show, I cannot wait to see what’s in her future with the MCU.
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) — or, as people often call her, "Goose" — is a romance aficionado who's taken her Master's in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture. She's the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters.